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Past Events

2020 Santa Barbara Conference on Experimental and Behavioral Economics

The 2020 Santa Barbara Conference on Experimental and Behavioral Economics took place on January 31 - February 1, 2020 in the Harbor Room in the University Center. Seven to eight papers were presented each day by leaders in the field of behavioral and experimental economics.

Participants: Jim Andreoni, Ted Bergstrom, Doug Bernheim, Andreas Blume, Isabelle Brocas, Juan Carrillo, Gary Charness, Yan Chen, Katie Coffman, Lucas Coffman, David Cooper, Leda Cosmides, Greg Deangelo, Martin Dufwenberg, Catherine Eckel, Ignacio Esponda, Erik Eyster, Guillaume Frechette, Dan Friedman, Rod Garratt, Uri Gneezy, David Grether, Yoram Halevy, Alex Imas, Shachar Kariv, Daniel Martin, Muriel Niederle, Charles Noussair, Ryan Oprea, Cheng-Zhong Qin, Matthew Rabin, Collin Raymond, Julian Romero, Anya Samek, Andrew Schotter, Lones Smith, Charles Sprenger, Emanuel Vespa, Lise Vesterlund, Alistair Wilson, and Sevgi Yuksel.

About the Center

The Experimental and Behavioral Economics Laboratory (EBEL) was established in 2007 with the focus of promoting research in experimental and behavioral economics, as well as employing experimental economics more effectively as a pedagogical tool. One of EBEL’s primary goals is to enhance the familiarization of students and faculty with the techniques of experimental and behavioral economics and the possibilities for using these techniques to further their research.

EBEL is directed by Professor Gary Charness. The Laboratory has both departmental and external laboratory advisory boards, consisting of distinguished researchers in the social sciences. In addition to sponsoring conferences and workshops, EBEL provides an environment to conduct cutting-edge research in experimental and behavioral economics, by both resident and short-term visiting scholars.

The EBEL’s goal is to maintain a clear focus on particular issues in Experimental and Behavioral Economics. The Laboratory’s practices include:

  • Focused two to three day conferences with six to eight presentations per day, and 15-25 outside participants
  • Workshops that include five to ten scholars from anywhere in the world, and last for one or two weeks. Participants may make occasional presentations, but the main focus is on working on aspects of the issue at hand
  • An environment in which two or three researchers (one of whom could be from UCSB) collaborate for a month or more to work on a particular question or issue
  • A space for PhD students to work on experimental and behavioral research

Advisory Board

EBEL is privileged to have nine distinguished social scientists serving in an advisory capacity.

Leda Cosmides

Leda Cosmides received her PhD in Psychology from Harvard University and has been at UCSB since 1991. She is best known for her work in pioneering the new field of Evolutionary Psychology. Professor Cosmides won the 1988 American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize for Behavioral Science Research, the 1993 American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology, and a J. S. Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.

In 1992, with John Tooby, she published The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture, an edited volume designed to be a state of the art survey of the new field. Leda is the co-founder and co-director of the UCSB Center for Evolutionary Psychology.

Daniel Friedman

Daniel Friedman received his PhD in Mathematics from UC Berkeley. He has been in the Economics Department at UC Santa Cruz since 1979 and served as Department Chair from 1998-2001. Professor Friedman is best known for his work in Evolutionary Game Theory and in laboratory markets, and he is currently investigating e-commerce market institutions and the evolutionary foundations of Behavioral Economics. He is the founder and director of the Learning and Experimental Economics Projects Laboratory at UCSC, and he has published (with Shyam Sunder) a textbook on Experimental Economics, Experimental Methods: A Primer for Economists.

Charles Plott

Charles Plott received his PhD in Economics from the University of Virginia, and is now the Edward S. Harkness Professor of Economics and Political Science at the California Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Econometric Society. Professor Plott has been at Caltech since 1971, and is one of the founders of modern Experimental Economics. His research interests include market adjustment, information transmission and integration, the design of exotic mechanisms such as Smart Markets, and regulation.

Andrew Schotter

Andrew Schotter received his PhD from NYU and has been a faculty member there since 1975. He served as Department Chair from 1988-1993 and from 1996-1999, and is also the founder and director of the Center for Experimental Social Science at New York University. Professor Schotter’s research interests include Experimental Economics, Economic Theory, and Game Theory. He has published a text on these topics, Micro-Economics: A Modern Approach.

John Tooby

John Tooby received his PhD in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University and has been at UCSB since 1990. For the last two decades, Tooby and his collaborators have been integrating Cognitive Science, Cultural Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology, Paleoanthropology, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Hunter-Gatherer Studies to create the new field of Evolutionary Psychology. Professor Tooby is the co-founder and co-director of UCSB's Center for Evolutionary Psychology, where he and his collaborators use cross-cultural, experimental, and neuroscience techniques to investigate specific cognitive specializations for cooperation, coalitions, group psychology, and human reasoning.

In 1992, he published The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture with Leda Cosmides, an edited volume designed to be a state of the art survey of the new field. Professor Tooby is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society/Association for Psychological Science.

Ted Bergstrom

Ted Bergstrom received his PhD in Economics from Stanford University, and is now the Aaron and Cherie Raznick Professor of Economics at UCSB. His past appointments include positions at the University of Michigan and Washington University. He has been at UCSB since 1997. Professor Bergstrom’s interests include Mathematical Economics, Pure and Applied Microeconomic Theory, Public Finance, Welfare Economics, Resource Economics, Health Economics, International Trade, Game Theory, Evolutionary Theory, and Economic Anthropology. In 1997, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition honored Professor Bergstrom and his son Carl as SPARC Innovators for their research and support of open access initiatives.

Robert Deacon

Robert Deacon received his PhD in Economics from the University of Washington has been at UCSB since 1972, and was Chair from 1998-2001. His interests include Natural Resource Economics and Environmental Economics, and his recent research examines the effects that different political systems have on the use of natural resources, environmental quality, and the provision of public goods.

Rod Garratt

Rod Garratt received his PhD in Economics from Cornell University and has been at UCSB since 1991. He is currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Economics Department. Professor Garratt’s interests include Auction, Game Theory, Experimental Economics, and Monetary Theory. He is currently conducting new theoretical and experimental research related to the role of speculators in standard auctions, as well as experimental work that examines how experience and learning affects behavior in standard auctions.

Peter Kuhn

Peter Kuhn received his PhD in Economics from Harvard University and is currently serving as Chairman of the Economics Department. His research examines a number of areas within Labor Economics, including trade unions, discrimination, immigration, displaced workers, unemployment, employment contracts, comparative labor markets, and the effects of information technology on labor markets. Professor Kuhn has conducted empirical, experimental, and theoretical research in this area.

About the Director

Professor Gary Charness specializes in Experimental and Behavioral research. He has published his research in a wide variety of journals, including Econometrica, American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic Theory, Games and Economic Behavior, and Management Science. He received his BS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan, and his PhD in Economics from UC Berkeley. He joined the UCSB faculty in 2001, after a previous appointment at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. He has held visiting scholar and professor positions at UC Santa Cruz and the Ohio State University, and also received a fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation.


Professor of Economics


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